Our little island isn’t short on cafes, and they aren’t all located in the city. In fact there are many gems to be found in the heartlands and these new cafes have recently mushroomed in charming residential estates so you don’t have to wander far from home for a good cuppa and delish eats. From Serangoon to Katong and Tiong Bahru, here are all the new heartland cafes to check out now.
Whisk & Paddle (Bukit Batok)
Whisk & Paddle at Tebing Lane in Punggol has long drawn crowds for its idyllic location and scrumptious offerings like all-day brunch, pizzas and Western-style mains.
Now, it has made its way to the West with a new 80-seater space that boasts full-height glass windows and fully-conditioned interiors — its first cafe has both indoor and alfresco seating.
The menu here differs slightly from its sister outlet, with outlet-exclusive dishes like Pumpkin Pizza ($19.80), Tom Yum Pizza ($24.80) and Mushroom Bacon Risotto ($17.80). Leave some room for the house-made desserts, which you can savour while soaking in the views of the lush greenery.
Whisk & Paddle’s second outlet is at 816 Bukit Batok West Ave 5 Singapore 659089.
Tiong Bahru Bakery Maju (Serangoon Gardens)
Home to a slew of hip cafes and restaurants, the Serangoon Gardens enclave has a new entrant. Tiong Bahru Bakery has opened the doors to its 40-seater Maju outlet, which flaunts a cosy space with laidback vibes and beautiful murals on the walls.
And it opens from 7.30am to 7pm so those living in the neighbourhood can head over for its irresistible croissants, kouign-amann or sourdough bakes the chain is best known for before the start of your workday.
Psst: There’s also a La Trinquelinette strawberry, rhubarb, and elderberry jam that’s only available at this outlet.
Tiong Bahru Bakery Maju is at 8 Maju Ave, Singapore 556686.
Over at condominium complex Stars of Kovan, a new French pastisserie has sprung up. The specialty here is the tartelettes, with fruit-topped ones like Mangoes & Cream Tart, Strawberry Tart, and Blueberry Tart (all at $7), dark chocolate and meringue tarts, all assembled atop pate sucree or French sweet pastry crust. You’ll also find decadent Basque burnt cheesecakes, dark chocolate cakes and other pastries.
Eclipse is at 988 Upper Serangoon Road #01-34, Stars of Kovan, Singapore 534733.
Fatcat Ice Cream Bar (Kovan)
You might be familiar with Fatcat Ice Cream cafe, which has called Bedok home for the past few years. And it’s opened a second store in the Kovan district. Unfortunately, you won’t get to dine-in here and its signature waffles aren’t on the menu, but you can order the ice cream to go, with 18 flavours to choose from daily.
Think yummy and inventive options like Watermelon Soju, Sea Salt Matcha, Kaffir Lime sorbet, Caramelised Banana and Tie Guan Yin. The ice cream is priced at $4.50 for a single scoop and $8.50 for double scoops, with an additional $1 for premium flavours. Pints are also available.
Also worth mentioning is the selection of cold brews, with indulgent options like the Milkshake Cold Brews ($8) that are concocted with the cafe’s ice creams.
Fatcat Ice Cream Bar is at 15 Simon Road, #01-00, Singapore 545900.
Hooloo Cafe (Kovan)
Occupying what was formerly Hatter Street, you won’t miss this joint all decked in beckoning neon signs and a kaleidoscope of bright hues. Hooloo has bagels, waffles with ice cream, and pasta on the menu, but you’ll want to come here for the hearty bagels, which are loaded with the likes of ham, beef, chicken breast, and more.
Or give the chef’s recommendation a whirl: the Korean-style Jinjaa ‘Croque’ that has turkey ham and bacon, eggs, garlic cream cheese, and mixed greens sandwiched between a toasted garlic-infused bagel.
Hooloo is at 212 Hougang Street 21, #01-333, Singapore 530212.
Ambling Turtle (Katong)
This two-storey cafe nestled in Katong that opened earlier this year specialises in tarts, but its creations come with an Asian slant that also draws on Peranakan culture. Sink your teeth into the likes of Orh Nee ($8), Bandung, Yuzu Cheese ($7) tarts, and even and an Ondeh Ondeh concoction ($8) that nods to Katong’s heritage.
Other items to try include the signature Nyonya Curry Chicken Croissant ($10) served with spicy chicken chunks and achar, as well as Merah-Merah Beef Wrap ($6.90) and buttermilk waffles perfumed with pandan ($12.50).
Ambling Turtle is at #01-01, The Flow, 66 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428778.
Knots Cafe & Living (Pasir Panjang)
If you have been to Knots Cafe And Living in Paya Lebar, you might be familiar with its concept — the cafe doesn’t just serve food, the plants and furniture that make up its decor can be bought, too.
Located within a warehouse, its new and second outlet at Pasir Panjang bears the same concept and similar vibes. But here, a greenhouse-like structure that is lined with a deluge of potted plants takes centre stage, giving off a cosy and charismatic atmosphere of dining within an indoor garden.
Knots Cafe And Living is at #01-08 Citilink Warehouse Complex, 102E Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118529.
Sevens Kissaten (Tiong Bahru)
Sevens Kissaten is a new cafe that bills itself a Japanese tea drinking shop and mixes quintessential Japanese elements with a touch of modernity. The ambience is tranquil and minimalist here, with wooden furnishings, a stone counter, and white paper lanterns overhead.
It draws on the teahouses in Kyoto, so you can expect to sip on brews crafted with small-batch, artisan tea. There’s matcha, of course, as well as iced matcha latte made with ceremonial grade uji matcha sourced from Kyoto. Those with adventurous tastebuds can go for the Milky Popcorn Rojicha (with genmai and popcorn, $7) or the Melonamanpaku (melon and honeydew, $7).
Food-wise, you’ll get delish Japanese and fusion options like 7S Bara Chirashi, Omurice ($16), Mentai Dashimaki Baguette ($21) and even a luxurious A5 Kagoshima Wagyu Katsu Sando ($48). There’s also a 7S Breakfast Omasake set ($32++) that gets you sampling portions of various dishes.
Sevens Kissaten is at 58 Seng Poh Road, #01-15, Singapore 160058.
Bailey And Whiskey (Bukit Merah)
The name of the cafe is actually taken from the owner’s two furkids — and you guessed it, it also has a pet-friendly area although this is situated outdoors. And it’s located near the Hort Park and Telok Blangah Hill area; perfect for refuelling after a hike or stroll.
Bright white interiors lined with wooden and rattan furniture, potted plants, twinkling lights and a lush lawn underfoot make for an outdoorsy vibe that invites you to linger. Here, you can nosh on cafe and brunch fare like All Day Breakfast ($12 – $18), as well as various toasts like Whiskey’s French Toast ($16) and Mushroom Egg Toast ($16), waffles, burgers, pastries and cakes.
Bailey And Whiskey is at #01-30 Depot Heights Shopping Centre, 108 Depot Rd, Singapore 100108.
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.